Today’s Headlines

  • Uber Driver: There Are Too Many Uber Drivers, Not Enough Fares (News)
  • Constantinides to DOT: Fix 23rd Avenue Where Xellea Samonte Was Killed (TL)
  • Canarsie Tube Subways Will Shut Down for 15 Weekends Before Official L Shutdown (AMNY, Gothamist)
  • More on Trottenberg and Byford’s Rosy Tour of the L Train Replacement Busway (News, AMNY)
  • This Heat Can’t Stop Carl Heastie From Biking to Work (Gothamist)
  • JUMP’s Spotty Bike Availability Gets Picked Up by the Post
  • Lyft’s Aggressive PR Isn’t Winning Any Friends (Politico)
  • Riders Love New MTA Para-Transit Pilot But It’s Too Expensive to Scale Up (WSJ)
  • Sandor Szabo Committed the Transgression of Tapping a Car, Now He’s Likely to Die (News)
  • Gothamist Has Photos of Soggy Summer Streets

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • mfs

    Is the e-hail program too expensive to scale up? The WSJ article wasn’t clear- the article seemed to merge several version of e-hail together. There is also a capital cost to the traditional Access-a-Ride that I’m not sure is included in the traditional $65/ride cost, which may not necessarily be true for some version of e-hail.

  • ohnonononono

    The paratransit e-hail story is kind of hilarious. Who would think that getting an on-demand mobile-hail cab ride with door-to-door service would be tremendously more popular than using regular Access-a-Ride vans that you have to reserve a day in advance and show up an hour late and pick and drop people off along the way? Why would the MTA not consider that the traditional Access-a-Ride service is awful and providing better service results in more ridership? You’re basically just giving AAR users free cab rides included with their Metrocards…

  • ortcutt

    Considering that the drivers are actually doing all the useful work, the commissions charged by these e-hail companies are really exorbitant. As a consumer, I try to use Juno since I think they charge lower commissions, but why can’t the TLC cap the commissions charged by Uber/Lyft/Juno etc… in order to put more money in drivers’ pockets?

  • Joe R.

    I totally agree. All Uber/Lyft/Juno is doing is providing the app to connect drivers to passengers. While that’s worth something in that drivers get business they otherwise wouldn’t get, it’s not worth the commissions currently being charged.

    We’re going to face much the same issue as we automate more functions in society. Owning the means of production doesn’t entitle you to all the output of that production, whether you use that output directly or sell it to others. Any output requires resources, whether those resources are labor or raw materials or both. Strictly speaking, nobody can own labor. There’s an ongoing debate as to whether or not raw materials can be owned by an individual or company rather than collectively owned by all the citizens of the planet (and this may not necessarily mean only humans).

    What this means in practice is that a handful of individuals shouldn’t become fabulously wealthy while those who do the actual work scrape by. Nor should they become very wealthy even if they don’t need labor because everyone owns the resources used to produce any goods made by robotic labor. If you work you’re entitled to be compensated by the amount of value your labor adds to the finished product. In the case of e-hail services, that’s nearly 100% as there is no “product” without a driver or motor vehicle. In the case of robots producing goods or services, everyone should receive vouchers entitling them to a certain amount of robotically produced goods or services (that will eventually include taxi service provided by autonomous vehicles). Eventually, when robots produce robots who perform society’s labor, the concept of ownership of the means of production should die off entirely.

    Sorry if I went off on a tangent here. I just strongly feel we need to nip things in the bud by making it clear that just having a good idea doesn’t entitle you to get wealthy at everyone else’s expense. If we don’t, it’s all too easy to envision a society where more and more people are unemployed because robots took their jobs, and they have no way to obtain goods or services. My voucher system would take care of that.

  • Joe R.

    Why would the MTA not consider that the traditional Access-a-Ride service is awful and providing better service results in more ridership?

    Just follow the money. I’m sure you’ll eventually find people with political connections who profit handsomely off Access-A-Ride. That’s really what’s wrong with the MTA in a nutshell. Too many people have a vested interest in the status quo as they profit handsomely off it, whether they be independent contractors, labor unions, or labor itself.

    This year my mom probably would have been eligible for Access-A-Ride being that she hasn’t walked on her own since November. I made a decision to not even bother applying for it for at least four reasons. One is the crappy, near useless service. The second is the fact the service costs taxpayers way too much money to operate. The third is the driving habits of Access-A-Ride drivers are typically atrocious. And the fourth is the stinky vehicles they use. I can often smell an Access-A-Ride van before I see it. Do these vans even have any emissions controls? My brother has vintage 1960s cars which smell better.

  • 8FH

    Sandor Szabo is now dead. Beaten to death for touching somebody’s car.

  • Fool

    When you include prevailing wage requirements, it probably was.

    Despite the fact that they contract out the operations of AAR, they are probably contractually prevented from decreasing the vehicles operated by those AAR operators.

  • AMH

    The interview with Rep. Heastie is so great. We desperately need more politicians to cycle at least occasionally. That would make a world of difference in their understanding of issues that cyclists face (wrong-way streets, awful drivers, etc.)

  • We need the these elected to be willing to speak publicly about the need for enforcement against drivers’ violations of the bike lanes.

  • Daphna

    Also in the News on 8/7/18 was the article “Two cyclists killed in Qns.” on page 15.

    One 36 year old motorcyclist hit the median, fell off his motorcycle and landed in a travel lane, then was run over by an unlicensed female driving a Bentley. The driver was charged with unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle but the police pronounced her not at fault. It was reported repeatedly that the motorcyclist was speeding with no explanation of how that was a known fact.

    A 33 year old motorcyclist was hit by the driver of a BMV turning off Cross Bay Blvd onto 126nd Avenue. The passenger on the motorcycle survived with a broken jaw, but the front rider died. The BMW driver was not charged. This was reported as if the motorcyclist rode into the BMV – because the police use the driver’s account and the dead motorcyclist can not defend himself.

    There was total victim blaming in the account similar to how bicyclist or pedestrian deaths are treated by police and covered by the media.
    Very sad.